Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)


The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires employers to provide Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) for their employee benefits to their employees. This requirement applies to all employers that offer employee benefits. This has been a federal law for many years, but it has not been actively enforced. With the onset of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there has been an increase in employer audits.

It is a common misconception that the insurance carrier certificates meet Summary Plan Description requirements; however, they do not satisfy ERISA requirements. Due to the complexity of the SPD, many employers use a qualified third party administrator or an attorney specializing in employee benefits to help create their SPD.

For our clients who do not have a Summary Plan Description, Watkins has two solutions:

We can provide you with a sample SPD wrap document and checklist. Your company can use these tools to create your SPD.
We have a third party administrator that will put the SPD wrap together for you. The fee is an estimated $300-400 annually for this service.
Because we are not attorneys, we cannot create your SPD for you. If you need assistance navigating through the process, please contact us at 512-452-8877.

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